February 12, 2013
A singer / songwriter of rare poetic genius,
SUZANNE VEGA offers profound insight into the basics of human existence which has earned her followers of all ages and walks of life.
Growing up in the tough and mixed neighborhoods of New York City in the 60's, she started writing poetry at the age of nine and song-writing by the time she was fourteen. In her teens she attended the New York High School of Performing Arts where she studied modern dance. However, music turned out to be her calling and, even while pursuing a degree in English Lit from Barnard College at Columbia University, she could often be found down in the Village performing at small venues.
Winning her first recording contract in 1984,
SUZANNE VEGA continues to write and perform, connecting with audiences all over the world through her words and music.
Ages 6 years & older welcome at this event.
For your comfort and the enjoyment of others, please use discretion when bringing young children to any live theatre event.
Pricing (includes $2.00 Facility Fee)
$48.00 - $32.00
“This is a good time to look back and say ‘Here’s what I’ve done,’” reflects Suzanne Vega, one of music’s most distinctive singers and storytellers. “If you had said in high school that this kid who (technically) couldn’t sing and wasn’t outgoing would have a 20-year career as a performer and pop songwriter nobody would’ve believed you. I’m still very much that teenage girl in my room wondering how my music can connect with people, can I put my vision into words, do other people see what I see? There’s still a thrill about that for me.” As she looks to the future, her first U.S.-issued anthology summarizes her past. RetroSpective: The Best Of Suzanne Vega (A&M/UME), released (April 22, 2003), features 21 career highlights spanning each of her albums to date, including hits, signature tracks and rarities. “I’ve had the freedom to do what I wanted, on my own terms and on my own timetable. I’m very handmade,” says Vega. “I see my career as a spiral, revolving around the central point of my guitar and lyrics.” When her “Luka” hit ..3 pop in 1987, earning her three Grammy nominations, including for Record of the Year, Vega ushered in a female, acoustic, folk-pop singer-songwriter movement that would include the likes of Tracy Chapman, Shawn Colvin, and Indigo Girls as well as the Lilith Fair phenomenon. “Others thought what I was doing was a novelty. I wasn’t overtly pop at a time when the charts had Madonna, Cyndi Lauper and The Bangles. But I don’t look at it as breaking barriers. I just wanted to write poetic, complicated, emotional, urban songs. I made the music I wanted to make and expressed myself to the fullest.” Though born in Santa Monica, CA, after her parents divorced she grew up in Spanish Harlem and the Upper West Side of New York City. Influenced by her computer systems analyst mother and Puerto Rican writer stepfather and the multicultural music they played, from Motown, folk and cool jazz to Beatles pop and bossa nova, she began playing guitar at age 11 and as a teenager began writing songs. At the High School for the Performing Arts she studied dance but at Barnard College she was a literature major. A 1979 Lou Reed concert proved an inspiration for her vision of contemporary folk. While supporting herself as a receptionist, she attended the Greenwich Village songwriter’s Exchange and played folk festivals and Lower East Side coffeehouses, including The Bottom Line and Folk City. Soon after she graduated from college in 1982, she was the local folk scene’s brightest hope. But record companies saw little prospect of commercial success. Vega’s demo tape was rejected by every major record company--twice by A&M. She was finally signed in 1984--by A&M. “Acoustic music had gone from the public scene,” she remembers, “but not from people’s lives. People will always play it because all you need is a guitar. It’s a very independent music and I’m a very independent person. I could just get on a Greyhound to any town, set up and sing.” Her 1985 self-titled debut album, co-produced by former Patti Smith Group guitarist Lenny Kaye, was a surprise hit in the U.K., thanks partly to the single “Marlene On The Wall,” and was critically acclaimed in the U.S. The New York Times hailed her as “the strongest, most decisively shaped songwriting personality to come along in years.” 1987’s Solitude Standing, again co-produced by Kaye, elevated her to star status. The album peaked at ..11 (..1 U.K.) and went platinum. Its “Luka,” written from the perspective of an abused boy (with Colvin on backing vocals), was a most surprising hit. “It’s a story about a lot of pain and it still moves me,” says Vega. “I still get mail about it, people telling me stories of abuse. It’s not a hit about love or something benign so that makes it a little difficult to play at times but it has so much meaning for so many people. If I’m only remembered for that song then that’s a good thing.”